The Failure of Fyre Festival

[MUSIC] *Knocks the Camera* Hi there. You’re probably wondering how I got this tan. Well, let me tell you the story. It begins with a man by the name of Billy McFarland. Billy was a good boy. At 22, he had dreams of becoming a super wealthy entrepreneur. Dropping out of college to start a business called “Magnises.” Over the years, he managed to network with some powerful people. One of them was Ja Rule. Translated from German, I believe that means, “yes rule.” Over drinks he pitched an idea. Here’s an accurate recreation of that event. [in squeaky voice] Mr Rule! He said, [in squeaky voice] I have a brilliant idea! [random Ja Rule gibberish] Precisely, great minds think alike. It will be 2 weeks of absolute luxury in the Bahamas. I… [kiss] M-Mr. Rule! Promotion began in late 2016. Fyre promised… BEACHES, LADIES, GOURMET FOOD, LUXURY VILLAS, Hosted on a private island in the Bahamas called, “Fyre Cay,” Once owned by Pablo Escobar, V.I.P. tickets up to $250,000, Swimming pigs, Blink 182, Major Laser, A steel drum (woah!) WELCOME to “Fyre Festival!” The best two damn weeks of your life. I bought my ticket immediately. The day arrives. About 5,000 people are making their way directly from Miami airport, and there are HUGE delays to get to Fyre Cay. Although, I shouldn’t say “Fyre Cay”… BECAUSE IT DOESN’T EXIST. In the marketing, they referenced this island, which is actually “Norman’s Cay”, run by George Jung, not Pablo, by the way. But that does not matter because we are not going there either, we’re going to Great Exuma. Private island? Forget that! Population: 7,000. In fact, we’re basically in the parking lot of a Sandals™ resort. In the end, only about 500 of us made it to the island. The remaining customer’s flights are CANCELED. You’re about to see why. We’re hauled onto a school bus and taken to the site. And grab a lot with a bunch of FEMA™ tents. Remember those promises of luxurious villas? Pranked ya! Enjoy your stay. And don’t forget your complentary cup of UNICEF rice. Once there, no one knows whose tent belongs to whom. So, staff try getting everyone into a line. Then they abandoned that idea and tell everyone that it’s a Free-For-All. [VAPORWAVE] Expecting a party, this guy took all of his drugs on the flight over. He’s the only one having fun. [partying guy] F**k it. let’s party, man [partying guy] We’re here to party! Everyone else is grumpy because it’s been FIVE hours, and there’s no food. In lieu of food, staff decides to start handing out tons of free tequila. This only exacerbates problems. Once the food does arrive, it’s just as delectable as promised though. Gourmet craft single there. A few hours later, bags arrive on a shipping container. It was getting dark, and there was NO LIGHTING. Plenty of people had their luggage stolen. But don’t worry, if you had any valuables, the festival advertised TOP-NOTCH security. Here it is. But no one told guests that they had to provide their own lock. There were rumors of muggings by the locals. [woman] I heard rumors of feral dogs. A tent supposedly caught fire? The closest beach has a rampant shark problem. Staff don’t have any uniforms or walkie-talkies, so no one knows who’s in charge, and the people who are in charge can’t talk to each other. Here’s the bathroom. Many staff quit after only a couple of hours. For the few customers who were willing to just make the most of it and enjoy the music, they had some bad news too. ALL of the major musical acts pulled out. In fact, Major Lazer wasn’t even confirmed to go in the first place. The event was promoted as cashless, so all people had were these useless Disney-bucks™ on their Fyre-bands™. Which meant that they couldn’t buy anything or catch a cab if they were stranded. And even with only 500 people, there are too few tents… And beds. So everyone is just stealing each others… And for any of you thinking you can just escape to the Sandals™, bad luck. It’s peak session and they are absolutely full. People are reaching out to the embassy for help. After a few hours, most people chose to go back to the airport. And the rest were forced back home when the Bahaman Government stepped in. The Festival… was closed. [This time NOT due to AIDS] But the exodus from the island made it’s own problems; Guests spent hours dehydrated and hungover in a hot building… Why staff locked the door isn’t entirely known. But one girl fainted until they were finally reopened, Everyone gets home and that was the end of it. Except for uhhhh….me I was ummm.. *Smack lips* Uhh, Rescuing someone, helping them out… And I got lost in the woods. 🙁 ANYWAY! Back at home, the shitstorm on social media was just ramping up: the reddit /r/Fyre Festival was created and it started documenting everything that went wrong at the event. People were circulating a fake tweet by Ja that the whole thing was a “Social experiment”. Some wholesome festival memes there. [Dat ballpit though] And it quickly turned into a marketing case study of what NOT to do. In response: Fyre started serving cease and desist letters to stop people from saying mean things about them. Mr. Rule released an official statement online both apologizing and saying that it’s not his fault. Interestingly he wasn’t even on the island at that time, he was giving a concert in Chicago. Although, to their credit, they offered everyone a full refund [ Aww 🙂 ] You could always “let it ride!” and opt in for tickets to 2018s Fyre Festival! [Oh… :I ] [News lady]: And VIP ticket to next years Fyre Festival. *laughter* *laughter*
[man]: Really? *laughter* Meanwhile, Billy is on full damage control, he claims that a storm came in the night before and changed ALL of the marketing into lies. [Billy McFarland]: We got to a point that we were very excited about, on Wednesday night… with how the two sides looked And we got hit by a big storm. But the apologies weren’t enough, a few days later, and the first lawsuit was served. *SMACK* “Attorney Ben Meiselas doesn’t think it’s funny, he’s filed a 100 million dollar class action lawsuit against the organizers!” Then another suit, then 7 more. Then the feds got involved, Calming Billy had commuted “Wire Fraud”: Serious charges with serious prison time. More on that later. “But First!” Right now let’s go into the history of Fyre Festival! The marketing was clever, To get the word out, they got in touch with about 400 “influencers” Instagram celebrities. And they offered them V.I.P tickets or cash to promote the event, They even managed to get Kendall Jenner to post about it! Rumor has it that she was payed a quarter of a million dollars for this post. The marketing worked though, the festival sold out! So how did it go so wrong? Let’s start with the money, during the planing process, a consultant came in and said the festival would cost- 50 million dollars, and require another year of organisation. [Random censored man]: They should’ve-They should’ve planned this two whole years out! This is after they made all the promises. And they had nothing NEAR that amount, So they started cutting expenses WAY back. Remember those Luxury Villas? They were going to cost 10 million dollars alone, *Kaboom* so they scrapped them. Now everyone gets a tent. *Ding* Deposits for the bands? nope. Food? Infrastructure? Staff? ALL were cut back. but. You may ask How did they have so little cash if they sold out? It’s the price, it was WAY. TOO. LOW. Now wait a minute. Up to $250,000 a ticket is- TOO LOW? In fact on social media, people were so merciless and unsympathetic towards the guests because they thought it was a bunch of rich kids paying for tickets with a starting price of $12,000! And you can thank fake news for that assumption, you see that number repeated everywhere. But actually, very few were paying even close to that amount. The standard price was around $1,200. Which, if you think about two weeks in the Bahamas with practically all your expenses taken care of… T H A T ‘ S P R E T T Y B L O O D Y G O O D! In fact, some tickets were as low as $500. [Victim of the Tragedy]: “6 months ago, got together and got the early bird special for about 500 bucks and this covered food, transportation, ticket, and somewhere to sleep.” How on EARTH were they gonna break even with that?! They weren’t. And on the flip-side, there’s no proof whatsoever that anyone purchased a $250,000 ticket. So basically They’re stuffed. Billy has to start taking touch short-term loans just to keep afloat. Which, by the way, is why they did the Fyre-bands, it was to raise cash. It’s reported that up to $2,000,000 in Frye Bucks in game currency was spent in the lead up to the event. But this wasn’t even close to enough. Practically broke and with the event only a few weeks away, The more experienced staff suggested postponing. But, thanks to those short-term loans, he couldn’t So he insisted on going forward. Though, staff tried to control the damage by telling celebrities and public figures NOT to go. [Photo guy] “How was the Fyre Festival?” *Laughter* So, Billy and Ja are in some serious trouble But, let’s please… have ONE failed festival, that has a sequel. Well… Billy is out on $300,000 bail, his assets were frozen as at May 18th, he dropped his expensive attorneys, he’s selling his property in New York, he tried to sell Magnises for 150 grand; but it was cancelled due for being fraudulent. Massively in debt and with no hope of paying it back, Fyre went into involuntary bankruptcy. And that, is the end of Fyre Festival I’ll keep you posted about whether Billy is going to jail. So long Fyre Festival, you were… too beautiful for this world. And as for me? Well… It’s time to go home…

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